Report: Former Buckeye transferring to Eastern Kentucky

Noah Spence missed the 2014 season after being suspended.

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Part of what made the Ohio State football team’s run to the national championship remarkable this season was the team’s ability to replace players who were scheduled to be in the lineup but ended up being unavailable.

Well, the first man down, Noah Spence, has turned up somewhere else according to multiple reports.

The defensive end will play next season at Eastern Kentucky according to reports John Owning of FootballInsiders.com and Thayer Evans of SI.com.

Spence’s father, Greg, told Evans he is happy his son will have a chance to get back on the football field after being suspended since Ohio State’s loss to Clemson in the Orange Bowl in January 2014.

"Another year of growth and maturity will only help him in terms of having a sustained career at the next level," Greg Spence said.

Noah Spence was one of Urban Meyer’s early recruiting coups after Meyer took over at Ohio State in late 2011. A five-star recruit from Harrisburg, Pa., Spence was considered a heavy Penn State lean until the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke and Joe Paterno was ousted as head coach of the Nittany Lions.

The pass-rush specialist ended up committing to Ohio State in December 2011 and playing in 11 games as a true freshman.

He became a starter in 2013 and logged a team-high eight sacks among his 14.5 tackles for loss. Big Ten media tabbed him first-team All-Big Ten, but his season came to a premature end when he was suspended for violating the Big Ten’s substance abuse policy prior to the Orange Bowl.

He was set to miss the first two games of the 2014 season to complete his original three-game suspension when news broke in September that he had failed another drug test. After an appeal with the Big Ten, Spence was declared permanently ineligible in November.

Eastern Kentucky head coach is a longtime friend of Meyer, and the pair host a youth football camp in northeast Ohio every summer.

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